Obsolete Date: 3/1/1997
(a) Serving Questions--Notice. After commencement of an action, any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon written questions. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by the use of subpoena as provided in Rule 45.The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes.
A party desiring to take a deposition upon written questions shall serve them upon every other party with a notice stating
(1) the name and address of the person who is to answer them, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs, and
(2) the name or descriptive title and address of the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken.
A deposition upon written questions may be taken of a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(b)(6).
Within 30 days after the notice and written questions are served, a party may serve cross-questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with cross-questions, a party may serve redirect questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with redirect questions, a party may serve recross questions upon all other parties. The court for cause shown may enlarge or shorten the time.
(b) Officer to Take Responses and Prepare Record. A copy of the notice and copies of all questions served must be delivered by the party noticing the deposition to the officer designated in the notice, who shall proceed promptly, in the manner provided by Rule 30(c), (e), and (f), to take the testimony of the witness in response to the questions and to prepare and certify the deposition and deliver it or send it by registered or certified mail to the party noticing the deposition.
Rule 31 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the December 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 29-30, 2009, pages 26-27; January 29-30, 1998, page 19; September 28-29, 1995, page 12; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; November 29, 1984, page 8; November 29-30, 1979, page 6; Fed.R.Civ.P. 31.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 29 (Stipulations Regarding Discovery Procedure),N.D.R.Civ.P. 30 (Depositions Upon Oral Examination), and N.D.R.Civ.P. 45 (Subpoena); N.D.R.Ev. 611 (Mode and Order of Interrogation and Presentation).